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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 09.07.2020, 16:58

Saeima approves extending state of emergency in Riga's waste management sector until March 12

BC, Riga, 05.12.2019.Print version
Saeima today approved the extension of the state of emergency in Riga's waste management sector until March 12 next year. 74 MPs supported the extension, including Aldis Blumbergs from KPV LV as well as some opposition and independent MPs, reported LETA.

Not participating in the vote were MPs from KPV LV, as well as some Harmony MPs and Armands Krauze from the Union of Greens and Farmers.

KPV LV said in a statement that it will remain consistent in its views and therefore does not support extending the emergency situation in Riga with regard to municipal waste management. "But at the same time, we support our coalition partners in the view for the necessity of the dismissal of the Riga City Council," said KPV LV.

The bill prepared by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry had been opposed by Economics Minister Ralfs Nemiro (KPV LV), Welfare Minister Ramona Petravica (KPV LV) and Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV).

Riga Mayor Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga) previously sent a letter to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry, which said that measures listed in the bill reviewed by the government earlier this week were already being implemented and the Riga City Council had ensured uninterrupted waste collection and management services to Riga residents.

"What is happening now is an attempt to distract the public from the really major problems in healthcare, from the administrative-territorial reform and other areas that are really in crisis. There is no crisis in waste management in Riga, every Riga resident knows and understands this. Municipal waste is and will be collected after December 11, everything else is political rhetoric," Burovs emphasized.

Meanwhile, Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development/For) believes that Riga municipality has lost its organizational capacity and has not used the opportunity to bring order to waste management services in the city for three months.

Even though the Riga City Council has reached agreement with municipal waste management companies on the continuation of municipal waste collection services, residents and these companies will not be able to enter into new waste management agreements by the end of the current state of emergency, believes the ministry.

The ministry reminds that it was because of the inability of the Riga City Council to fulfill its functions in accordance with the Law on Waste Management that on September 12 the Cabinet of Ministers declared a state of emergency in the City of Riga, which was endorsed by Saeima.

The Riga City Council has implemented part of its tasks, except that described in Paragraph 1 of the decree on the state of emergency in Riga - continuity of municipal waste collection and removal services in the city in the long term, said the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

Taking into account that the Riga City Council has repeatedly failed to ensure adequate provision of waste management services in accordance with the legal requirements and has been unable to take the necessary measures since the state of emergency was declared, the Cabinet must extend the state emergency for another three months, believes the ministry.

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